Florida officials on Friday reported 100,012 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Sept. 3 to Sept. 9, an average of nearly 14,300 infections per day. It’s a 20 percent drop in cases from the week before and the lowest weekly infection rate since late July.
New cases fell for all age groups for the second week in a row. But new infections remained concentrated among Florida’s youngest residents. Nearly one-third of infections were among those under the age of 20.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 3,409,165 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 18 months ago on March 1, 2020.
The state added 2,443 deaths since the previous week’s report, setting the third consecutive record for the highest number of deaths reported in a single week since the start of the pandemic. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 48,772. The report indicates that 353 deaths occurred in the past seven days, but it can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death.
The Florida Department of Health announced in June that it would no longer release daily COVID-19 data. Instead, it is now releasing a weekly report every Friday — but it withholds information that was publicly available before.
As of June 4, the state no longer reports non-resident vaccinations, coronavirus cases and fatalities. The state has declined repeated requests to provide non-resident data to the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida is the only state that updates its coronavirus caseloads and data once per week. Although weekly reports can be more reliable than daily updates, experts warn that infrequent data updates may delay the identification of emerging trends.
Vaccinations: Florida administered 349,845 vaccine doses in the past week, including to 184,663 people who are now fully inoculated against the coronavirus.
Nearly 41,000 doses were booster shots, available to those who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine eight months ago. So far, 228,335 Floridians have received an additional dose of a vaccine.
As of Thursday, 69 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 57 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
But 40 percent of Florida’s total population is unvaccinated, including children 11 and under who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.
Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. Eighty-eight percent of Floridians 65 and older have been vaccinated, and 82 percent of those ages 60-64 have been vaccinated, according to state data.
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Younger adults had the largest gains but remain the least vaccinated cohorts in the state. Ages 12-19 are 52 percent vaccinated, ages 20-29 are 50 percent vaccinated, and ages 30-39 are 60 percent vaccinated.
In Hillsborough County, 64 percent of residents age 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 65 percent; in Pasco, 64 percent; in Manatee, 66 percent; in Polk, 62 percent; in Hernando, 58 percent; and in Citrus, 58 percent.
Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate fell to 13.5 percent in the past week, down from 15.2 percent the prior week. Positivity rates were highest among 12- to 19-year-olds, with 18.2 percent of tests coming back positive.
Before reopening, states should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks, according to the World Health Organization. A positivity rate of 5 percent or less indicates testing is widespread enough to capture mild, asymptomatic and negative cases.
Positivity remained steady around the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 16.5 percent in Hillsborough, 14.7 percent in Pinellas, 20 percent in Pasco, 15.9 percent in Manatee, 18.2 percent in Polk, 22.3 percent in Hernando and 23.2 percent in Citrus.
Hospitalizations: Florida had 12,262 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, down 22 percent from last week. DHHS reported that 9,905 confirmed COVID-19 patients were admitted to Florida hospitals from Sept. 3 to Sept. 9.
The Tampa Bay area saw 2,345 hospital admissions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 953 admissions, Pinellas had 660 admissions, Pasco had 321 admissions, Manatee had 205 admissions, Polk had 545 admissions, Hernando had 165 admissions and Citrus had 93 admissions.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 24,822 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 643,844 cases.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 7,940 new cases, Pinellas had 4,340 cases, Pasco had 3,256 cases, Manatee had 2,462 cases, Polk had 4,787 cases, Hernando had 1,139 cases and Citrus had 898 cases.
The state no longer reports deaths by county. According to CDC data, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties each recorded fewer than 10 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths in the past week. The federal agency does not report exact deaths by county when the count is under 10.
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